Didier Drogba speaks on Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has said that he had a close relationship with Romelu Lukaku during their time together at Stamford Bridge. The Belgium international struggled to make a strong impression with the west London side but his decision to move on has paid dividends with him becoming one of the most sought-after strikers in the world.

Speaking to HLN, Drogba revealed that the duo were close to each other at former club Chelsea and Lukaku continues to ask advice whenever possible. He added that Lukaku is one of the best in the world but he has ample room for improvement, given he is approaching the prime of his professional career.

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Lampard believes Chelsea duo will become ‘big players’ for the club

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said that the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James have a big career ahead with the Blues. The young duo are currently in training after recovering from their respective injury setbacks and they are likely to make their first-team bow under Lampard before the end of the month.

Speaking in a press conference, Lampard said that both Hudson-Odoi and James need to achieve peak fitness before they are up for selection for the first-team. The Blues legend added that the duo are likely to make a big impact with the club going forward, he told: “Callum’s going to play along with Reece James, so they’ll get minutes which is important now because Callum has been training with us for a while but there are still some issues with the injury itself that we need to make sure he’s OK with. He’ll need to get match fit, so these games are really beneficial for him and Reece James similarly. I’m pleased with that. They’re two young players that are going to be big for this club going forward.”

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Allardyce slams Chelsea’s second-half showing against Manchester United

Former Premier League manager Sam Allardyce has criticised the performance of Chelsea during the season opener against Manchester United on the road. The Blues were the dominant side in terms of the chances created and possession at Old Trafford, but that did not necessarily influence the outcome of the game as United won by a comfortable 4-0 score.

Speaking after the encounter, Allardyce stated that the Blues were the better team in the league clash but that has not been reflected with the result. He continued to criticise the west London giants, who seemed to lose concentration during the final 30 minutes where they conceded as many as three goals on the counter-attack.

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Lampard hints Kante could return from injury for the season opener

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has said that midfielder N’Golo Kante could make a comeback from a knee injury ahead of the Premier League opener against Manchester United next month. The France international has been sidelined with a knee problem picked up at the backend of the previous campaign but Lampard believes the midfielder is making good progress in terms of the recovery at the club’s training base.

Speaking in a press conference, Lampard confirmed that the World Cup winner has returned to individual training and he could link up with his teammates in the next few days, he said: “He is training. He has dipped into training with us in the last couple of days. There is a lot more that he needs to do physically, off without us that he can do without any contact which has been good but the signs are good in the last three days that we have been back.”

When pressed further about a possible return date, Lampard hinted that he could make the comeback for the curtain raiser, although that depends on whether he is able to achieve peak fitness, he continued:“He is a top class player, so however much you want him in, at the same time you have to make sure he is as fit as he can be when he comes back.”

Under the guidance of Lampard, the Blues have endured a mixed pre-season with victories in three of their five matches. Nonetheless, there have been positives on the attack front with six goals scored in the past two games against Barcelona and Reading alone and Lampard will be hoping that the team can continue to shine in the final third, where they don’t have the services of Eden Hazard anymore.  Chelsea have two games remaining against Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Monchengladbach to conclude their pre-season campaign.

Allardyce slams Chelsea’s second-half showing against Manchester United

Former Premier League manager Sam Allardyce has criticised the performance of Chelsea during the season opener against Manchester United on the road. The Blues were the dominant side in terms of the chances created and possession at Old Trafford, but that did not necessarily influence the outcome of the game as United won by a comfortable 4-0 score.

Speaking after the encounter, Allardyce stated that the Blues were the better team in the league clash but that has not been reflected with the result. He continued to criticise the west London giants, who seemed to lose concentration during the final 30 minutes where they conceded as many as three goals on the counter-attack.

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Jonathan Spector backs Christian Pulisic to cover up Eden Hazard void

Former USA defender Jonathan Spector has said that Christian Pulisic may not replace Eden Hazard at Chelsea but he has the potential to become a top-notch player for the west London giants. The 20-year-old was purchased by the Blues during the 2019 winter transfer window but he was thereafter loaned back to Borussia Dortmund for the remainder of the 2018/19 season.

As such, he has yet to make an impression among the Blues faithful and the same could be delayed for some time with his participation at the Gold Cup. Speaking to Goal.com, Spector told that Pulisic has yet to reach the level of Hazard on the professional scale and he has time on his side to become as good as the Belgium international.

He said:”I don’t think he’s quite at that level just yet and there’s no shame in that, Hazard is a brilliant player! But he definitely has the potential if he continues to grow and improve. But with Hazard leaving it gives him an opportunity, as he needs to play games, especially at that age and at that stage of development. Being a 20-year-old playing for Chelsea is no small feat, so hopefully, he will get that opportunity and there is no telling how good he could be.”

Pulisic could not help USA win the Gold Cup after they succumbed to a final defeat at the hands of Mexico. Nonetheless, the tournament was a good experience for the attacker, who contributed three goals and three assists from six appearances. The young playmaker is now on a vacation following the international exploits but he could meet his new teammates towards the end of the month. Still, he may not be rushed into first-team action and may have to adjust to a bench role for a few games in order to adapt to the intensity of the Premier League.

Liam Rosenior believes Lampard can become Chelsea’s very own Guardiola

Sky Sports pundit Liam Rosenior believes Frank Lampard has the opportunity to transform into a world-class manager at Chelsea. The 40-year-old has emerged as the favourite to take up the vacant head coach role at the Blues and Rosenior believes the Englishman has the chance to make a name for himself in club management.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Rosenior said that Lampard has got a great chance of returning to the Blues in the managerial role and he could grow into the mould of a young Pep Guardiola in years to come. He added that no one can blame him for taking up the role and the same goes for Derby County chairman Mel Morris.

He told: “We’ve seen [Mauricio] Pochettino, young manager, Guardiola, young manager, Klopp started his career when he was young. For me, when Chelsea come calling and with his connection at that football club, I don’t think anyone in the world would blame him for taking that job. I don’t think Mel Morris would, I don’t think anyone would, because I think there are certain things in football that you can’t say no to.”

At the present moment, the Rams are doing the best to convince Lampard to remain with the club and that has halted the discussions with the Blues. Nonetheless, it appears that the 40-year-old has made the mind up to join the west London giants and it could only be a matter of time before the Rams accept defeat and take the compensation package.

The Blues are currently under a transfer ban for 12 months and the embargo should see the board provide more backing to the new manager. As such, Lampard does not have any fears of getting the axe within months of the job and that surely remains one of the main factors behind the prospect of accepting the role.

Chelsea assistant drops positive injury update on Antonio Rudiger

Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola has dropped a positive injury update on Antonio Rudiger. The Germany international picked up a knee injury during the recent 2-0 league defeat at Liverpool but it appears that the concern is a minor one, and he could return for the trip to Manchester United at the end of the month.

Speaking in a press conference, Zola acknowledged that the Blues have been lucky with the defender’s injury setback and there remains a strong possibility of a comeback against United later in the month, he said: “It looks not as bad as we thought, luckily. When he came off limping, we were worried. Apparently it’s not that bad. He’s a strong boy and he’ll be back sooner than you expect. Yes, there is a strong possibility that we see him [against United]. He’s a warrior and won’t want to miss a game like that. The next few days will be very important to see if he can continue recovering.”
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Maurizio Sarri fires caution to Gonzalo Higuain after another goalless game

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has said that Gonzalo Higuain must produce his best performances for the club during the final two months of the season. The Argentina international has largely been a hit-and-miss since his winter move to the club and he has managed just three goals across all competitions.

Speaking after the Blues’ 2-1 win over Cardiff City, Sarri acknowledged that Higuain is struggling to keep up with the demands of the Premier League but the club don’t have much time to help him adjust, he said: “He said to me that it’s difficult because the physical impact of the defenders here is really very strong. The referees here are really very different than in Italy, so it’s another football for him. Especially for the striker and the goalkeeper, I think it’s really very different. So I think he needs time, but we have no time. We need him at his top level in the last two months.”
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Didier Drogba raves about Lille attacker Nicolas Pepe

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has heaped praise on the performances of compatriot Nicolas Pepe in Ligue 1 this term. The 23-year-old has been in stellar form for Lille this season with 17 goals and eight assists in the French top-flight and this has kept them on course for a return to next season’s Champions League.

Speaking to Goal.com, Drogba said that he has heard plenty of good things about the progress of Pepe and he is confident that the forward can leapfrog the 19-goal tally, he achieved with Marseille during the 2003-04 season, he told: “He has very good statistics and he will easily exceed my goals record in Ligue 1. He is fast and a complete and efficient player. We need players like him in Ligue 1. I have been hearing about him for some time, especially because he has been part of the Ivorian national team for several years.”
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